Yes it is. The recent stand-off between Delhi University (DU) and University Grants Commission (UGC) over Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) has set a dangerous precedent for autonomy of educational institutions.
Section 30 of Delhi University Act, 1922 gives the university full autonomy in making ordinances on admission of students, course of studies, etc. On the other hand, UGC Act, 1956 empowers UGC to just define minimum standards of instruction and regulate the maintenance of standards and the co-ordination of work or facilities in universities.
However, UGC directing DU to scrap FYUP and DU scrapping the FYUP after giving a stiff fight means that autonomy of the Central Universities are at huge stake. This is because the four-year programme was in vogue since 2012 and even the DU’s Executive Council (which has been empowered under Section 31 of the DU Act) scrapped the three-year programme in 2013. So the question arises where was UGC for so long? Were student’s career was not at stake then?
Viewed in more subtle way, in fact, DU scrapping the four-year programme was a clear cut case of politicisation of academia and this may not augur well for the standard of higher education in India which already is in mess.
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